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Bill Offers Possibility of Tax Credits for Virginia Caregivers

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Wednesday, January 23, 2019   

RICHMOND, Va. - Considered by many as the unrecognized backbone of Virginia's long-term care system, family caregivers soon could get some financial relief in the form of tax credits through a bill in the General Assembly.

Across the Commonwealth, more than 1 million people assist parents, spouses and loved ones by providing care at home. House Bill 2433 would offer a nonrefundable tax credit of up to $1,000 for those qualified, to help ease their financial burdens.

Joyce Williams, a retired school administrator whose 76-year-old husband has multiple, serious medical conditions, said their needs involve preventing falls and checking his blood-sugar monitor, day and night.

"Somebody needs to be watching him," she said, "because if it beeps three times and he goes to take insulin, he could kill himself with driving his blood sugar through the floor."

Groups such as AARP Virginia are urging support of the legislation. Their estimates show caregivers spend an average of $7,000 per year out-of-pocket to care for loved ones. The bill is to get its first hearing today in a subcommittee of the House Finance Committee.

Eligible taxpayers would receive a credit equal to a percentage of the qualifying expenses for items such as home modifications, transportation and adult day care. Williams said she thinks caregivers are worth their weight in gold, because seeing a loved one through many stressful situations can take an emotional as well as financial toll.

"As much as I know he loves me, he just gets ornery," she said, "and so it's an emotional test, for sure."

Day-to-day expenses such as food and clothing wouldn't qualify for the credit. There also is an income limit of $75,000 for single caregivers and $150,000 for married people. Delegate Luke Torian, D-Prince William County, is the bill's sponsor.

The text of HB 2433 is online at lis.virginia.gov.


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